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Nightshades' mating habits strike uneasy evolutionary balance
Date:10/21/2010

zation to have more offspring during unpredictable environmental changes."

Avoiding self-fertilization also allows plants to more easily keep beneficial mutations and provides a degree of protection against some harmful mutations, Igić said.

The findings underscore that both individual and species characteristics can strongly shape how a group of plants evolves and diversifies.

"The ability or inability to self-fertilize is subject to forces that act strongly, and in opposite directions," Goldberg said. "The balance between these opposing forces helps explain the diversity of plants within the nightshade family, and potentially many other plant groups."


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Contact: Paul Francuch
francuch@uic.edu
312-996-3457
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

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